Thursday, August 23, 2012

Constructive Criticism?

I really struggled with writing this particular blog post. I kept putting it off and procrastinating until I had no time left to procrastinate. I thought about just letting it go. I thought about ignoring it, but if anything I am bull-headed, and I knew if I blogged about it I would be able to let it go. Back in the beginning of July I posted a swimsuit blog post. It was more than photos of me in a swimsuit, it talked about this idea that women of a "certain size" shouldn't be allowed to wear certain things.

Lucky for you! I am covering up all of my offensive body parts ;)


The blog was received very positively and I loved and cherished every comment I got from it. It was such a great experience. This week Kiyonna uploaded photos from that blog post on their public Facebook page. I wasn't expecting it, since it had been so long ago, so I was surprised when I ran across it. "Hey alright!" I said to myself. "500 likes and loads of comments. That's pretty cool." So I looked at them, and while the majority of them were super positive and wonderful (these women clearly got the point), I was shocked and amazed at the vitriolic hate that spewed from the fingers of several women (many of them plus-sized themselves). I am paraphrasing here, but I promise I am not far from their exact words- the photos were lewd and disgusting, plus size women should never model anything, there was NO way I was a 1X, I have flabby arms, fat legs, and a gross ass, I should never be seen in public in a swimsuit.

I mean suffice to say I was a little shocked. Kiyonna is usually such a positive place, and I grew up repeating the adage of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It's one thing to criticize the swimsuit. In fact I complained within the post about sizing up and losing bust support, so I agree with posts that said I needed more bust support. But my flabby arms disgust you? Yikes, not much I can do about that. And that is the difference between constructive criticism and just plain ol' hate. I will admit I was secretly quite pleased at the women, all of them complete strangers, who jumped to my defense. It was a pretty amazing feeling.

Thoughtfully wondering what the hell is wrong with some people!


I also feel like many of the women completely understood and appreciated the story behind the bathing suit and the guts it took to bare all. I can't say my feelings were hurt. One woman remarked that I shouldn't have posted it for everyone to see if I didn't want them to talk about how gross I looked. Fair enough, I opened myself up to the criticism. Another came to my defense (?) and told her to come to my blog and tell me how ugly I was. Her logic being- I have so much confidence that I wouldn't give a crap about what she had to say. Lots of my defenders mentioned that the women must be self-loathing, and it brings up an interesting point.

Confidence is not thinking "Damn, I look awesome in this. I am the finest thing in the world." Confidence is loving and accepting yourself. There's a huge difference between cockiness and confidence. I make no bones about it- I am big. I have flabby arms, a big stomach, big thighs, a couple of chins- I don't look like Kate Upton or Kate Moss in a swimsuit. I won't ever look like that. Confidence is loving and accepting myself enough to not be bothered about it. I am what I am. Is it perfect? Of course not. Is it photoshopped? Nope. Is it me? Yep. And I love me.

I wasn't upset by the comments. Interestingly enough, when you are a model of confidence for other women and they are commending you for your bravery and beauty and celebrating a body that looks like the one they see in the mirror, it's really hard to get down or lose confidence. I couldn't dwell on it. I read the comments, sharing the really mean ones with my husband, laughed, shook my head, and closed the window. The end. Would I want to print it out or see it everyday or have these women comment on my blog every day? Hell no! I'm not a masochist! 

I think it's a sad world when people purposely look for things to criticize and troll on (Allie wrote so much more eloquently on this subject, so read it here!). They can say it has nothing to do with jealousy or their own body issues, but I hope and pray they aren't raising girls. Can you imagine growing up under a woman who would so violently despise someone because of some arm fat and a bathing suit? What message are these children hearing every day? So I end by saying I am often complimented on my confidence, but it wasn't until this happened that my confidence was truly tested and I saw what I was really made of. Women always comment that they wish they had my confidence, so I share with you and implore you  to love and accept yourself and from that you will see your confidence grow.
Thanks for sticking with me :)


103 comments:

Annie said...

Katie, I think you're awesome! It definitely took courage to put yourself out there, and I really loved that post. There will always be haters...but I love that you're choosing not to let them get to you. And love that cardi!


Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Rae Ann Nolan said...

You are gorgeous and anyone who says otherwise has their own issues. The bathing suit shots are hot! Too bad if someone else can't see what a beauty you are!

Michelle said...

I am not a plus size, but I read you every day. I think you are getting everything right - you SHOULD be able to wear cute and trendy things (or, gasp, a swimsuit) and be confident in them. I know so many ladies who are ashamed of the way they look and that is no way to live. Feeling pretty and cute, wearing skirt, tank tops and going to the beach are not solely rights of "skinny girls". I think you are doing a great thing and giving a lot of women a dose of hope and confidence.

Stephanie Frost Roberts said...

You are stunning. Just read all the comments on Kiyonna's Facebook. And obviously the majority of the world has a brain and sees how absolutely stunning you are! The others are just jealous :) LOVE YOU!

Weesha said...

and now I love you more. You're too frikkin awesome for words Katie. I saw that post and I felt really sorry for that one chick attacking you. I wish people realized their judgmental comments say more about themselves than the person they're picking on.

Stephanie Hull said...

Katie- I think you're fabulous, and as a curvy girl myself, you give me courage to wear the things I want to wear and not care what other people say big girls should or shouldn't wear!

Lauren said...

This is exactly what I was going to say. They aren't talking about you at all, they're talking about how they feel, which really has nothing to do with you. You are clearly a good person. It's too bad miserable people feel the need to share.

Amber said...

I agree with Weesha! it says so much more about themselves than you. You are beautiful! and I love your outfits and your writing. "When someone makes a negative comment or reaction has to do with them more than us. What they do is their issue and how we react is our issue and responsibility" What somebody else does to me may or may not be a problem. How I react, overreact, that is always my problem." This is from my Daily Encounters e-mail that I received today. Your reaction is very diplomatic and positive! Keep loving yourself.

Tara_St said...

All of those women who left negative comments for you, I would like to challenge them to find a woman (that isn't a professional model) that doesn't have a little arm fat or cellulite or some other thing that they call an imperfection. You know what? I bet Kate Upton even has a weird hair or mole some where. You're beautiful and I am glad you know it.

Tashia G. said...

This is a really great post Katie. When I see women snarking on other women it really gets under my skin because it's symptomatic of a bigger problem. We live in a society where the images we're bombarded with are almost always slim/ fit. Those images make us feel that if women don't fit that mold then their bodies aren't worthy of being celebrated. My hop is that as bloggers, we can continue to celebrate and share images of bodies of all shapes, sizes, colors and slowly change that.

Raindrops of Sapphire said...

I can honestly say I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw the swimsuit photos. I think that swimsuit you chose and the colour of it is absolutely gorgeous, it's such a pretty one! Plus, with your lipstick, your heels and your confidence, you pulled it off perfectly. Honestly! I'm always honest when I remark peoples clothes and I always do it in a constructive way, I'm never nasty or rude because it's just a vile way to be. But I can assure you that some of those photos, like the first and second one from the swimsuit post, could actually be in a magazine. They looked very good and It's really nice to see someone who is confident with their body and happy with who they are.


You just have to remember that with people on the internet, it's just that, people on the internet. They think they can hide behind the computer screens and say what they want because it's not real life. They forget that actually these people they are being rude to have feelings and emotions too. I find when I am insecure about something on myself, I always look out for that flaw on other people, so what these people were probably being horrible about stems from their own lack of confidence and flaws that they have. They just think they can get away with it because they don't know the person. I'm glad you are not letting it effect you. It seems like so many people love you and your blog so keep doing what you are doing and don't worry about anyone who hates on you. I have been through internet hate and abuse too, but it only makes us stronger :) :)


www.raindropsofsapphire.com

Sharon S said...

It really saddens and sickens me to hear that a bunch of women said such horrible comments on photos where you looked so very gorgeous. It seems women put other women down when they're feeling their own insecurities and it's easier to hate on someone else than to come to terms with their hate for themselves. I love your reaction to the whole thing and I'm glad it has strengthened your confidence even more!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
Enter to win a gift card (open internationally!)

Always Maylee said...

Recently, I have seen a few of my blogger friends talk about being criticized for their looks and how woman are being judged for their size. And quite frankly, it's really pissing me off. I would never ever spew hate like that towards someone and it baffles my mind that there are women out there who don't even blink when they make these comments. I could care less what size you wear or what your arms look like. You're beautiful to me, inside and out, and whoever disagrees should look at themselves in the mirror a little more closely.


xo, Yi-chia

D'Rae said...

Another great post Katie!

Colleen P. said...

You're such a lovely woman that I have a hard time imagining why anyone would say such ugly things about something so unimportant as "arm fat"! I have a news flash-at 45 I can assure you that EVERYONE gets bingo wings, sooner or later! No matter how firm the muscles underneath are, the skin simply doesn't stay smooth and tight all your life.You also get loose skin on your legs, everyone gets cellulite, butts droop and stomach skin never recovers from having children, though it looks better on some of us than on others. (and I am definitely in the "others" group here, I look like a pink striped melon! LOL!) Supermodels can afford to pay people to slice it off and tighten it up, starve them on tiny bits of gourmet food, and make them exercise for hours. The rest of us can just relax with the knowledge that we aren't under that kind of scrutiny and thank goodness for it!

Natasha said...

Thank you for being courageous enough to put yourself out there like you do. I am glad that Allie posted your blog on her Facebook because I have another great blog to add to my Google Reader!

I don't understand why people think it's okay to spread hate.

Miranda said...

I love this post and I love your attitude about the negative comments! I'm confident about my body too but I don't think I could ever be as tough as you! There are a lot of people in this world who are just really hateful. The good news is that for every mean person who commented, you had even more people to defend you. That is amazing! Keep it up!

Crystal said...

I haven't been over to the site to check out what was said but seriously? Seriously? How sad for those women that they have to spew negativity and hate over another woman. Katie, you are beautiful and those pictures of you in your swimsuit were really stunning. I wish I looked half as good as you did in that swimsuit and my guess is, I bet they do too. Jealously is a mofo. And I think all you can do is feel sorry for them. They apparently live in a bitter, hate filled world, which is not really living at all. You live life every day and your happiness and beauty shine through!!
www.talesfromthefatside.org

Mom2four said...

I have just recently come across this blog and I love it! But what you have posted about today is the very reason why I don't like to put the effort into myself and go outside of the house. People can be so mean. More power to you for having confidence and for the encouragement you give to people like me! Bless you!

Selah said...

The thing I love most about your blog is that it transcends size and shape. Your style and confidence are admired by women of all shapes and sizes, as evidenced by the comments here. I LOVE your positivity and I am inspired by you daily. Thank you!

Ashley said...

People can be cruel. I think you doing the swimsuit post is awesome! You looked beautiful! I used to be much thinner than I am now and every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw. I felt felt & cried all the time because of it. A few years ago I gained weight and the odd thing is.....now that I am considered fat by some standards....I feel happier with my reflection. I smile when I look in the mirror regardless of the new "dimples & rolls" or higher number on the tags of my clothes. I think you are an EXCELLENT role model! I love your blog because what you wear is realistic to me. We can't all be a size 2 :)
http://www.thriftylittlepretties.blogspot.com

REBECCA said...

Well maybe those people still live in the dark ages or just are so bitter with their lives Katie! Just go on being a positive role model for all of us. I'M TOTALLY WITH YOU ON THIS!!


Rebecca
www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

Karen said...

Got to your blog from Wardrobe Oxygen via Facebook.........checked out your swimsuit post.....what a great swimsuit and you looked fantastic! You are very photogenic. I am not plus size, but I am over 40, and buying a swimsuit is still very difficult as it just generally shows more than i want to. Ack! LOL. I am learning to give myself a break, because after all, my body is just the "house" for the real me. ;)
I think women have to learn to be kinder to each other. That likely includes a gentle reprimand if we hear our friends make a derogatory remark about another woman's choice of clothing or her size. And one reader's remark about what kind of example are we being to our daughters and nieces??
Are we teaching them to look beyond just the outer "shell" of a person and see the real person inside the body (whatever size it may be). Some of the most beautiful women I know are quite large in size, but its just part of who they are. I would hope they would feel ok to wear a swimsuit at the pool or beach, just like everyone else.
(BTW........when was the last time you heard a guy worry about what he looks like in a swimsuit???!! I see very overweight men with beer bellies, man-boobs, back fat, knobby knees, etc, etc, all the time at the beach, and you never see them rushing to grab a cover-up when they come out of the water, do you??!! Lol)

grownandcurvywoman said...

Who said nasty things about you?!!! Where are they so I can poke their eyes out?! LOL
Obviously that poor woman was having a meltdown after seeing your wonderfully made body! She couldnt handle all your womanly curves in a bathing suit. Its clear she saw what she wasnt and had a nervous breakdown. Poor thing! Tsk, tsk, tsk!
You probably know this but Ill say this anyway, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!

Lenore @Lather.Write.Repeat. said...

Well I truly admired what you did. I too, DESERVE, to wear something cool in the summer. Not because I have a perfect body (which I don't) but because I'm a human being. Thank you for representing all of us curvy girls in your post - I thank you.
www.latherwriterepeat.blogspot.com

Perfectly Packed Inc. said...

Wow, can't imagine people being so wildly offside! I just looked at the swimsuit blog - you are adorable. And I love the look you have put together for this post as well. I totally agree that confidence in not what others think of you but what you think of yourself! Keep up the good work!

Sarah said...

Honestly, I wanted to cry when I saw that bathing suit post and that post is the reason I read your blog everyday! I have a very similar body to yours, and I wanted to cry because it made me SO. DAMN. PROUD!! You looked beautiful and confident and lovely. You made me feel like maybe I could put on a bathing suit and wear it out in public one day (it's been at least 4 or 5 years since I have). You know, it SUCKS to think, Oh I can't go on a dream vacation to the Bahamas because I don't want to be seen in public in my bathing suit! It sucks to limit your life this way.


One point I would really like to make is that had those nasty women been by the pool with you in their bathing suits, they would have been way too concerned with how they look to even notice you. The only reason they could be haters is because they were safely removed from that situation and were anonymous to you. I guarantee you they would not have said anything to your face. That makes them cowards - and cowards are not worth your time.

Hailey said...

I was raised by a negative woman who hated herself, her body, and my big fat body. (She still hates all of those things.) She was constantly talking about how hideously fat she was, but she wasn't fat at all. She was way smaller than I was.

Then she began to pick apart everything about me. My hair wasn't good enough. My body was too fat. I was too tall. My skin wasn't clear enough. My eyebrows weren't how they should be. Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of confidence growing up. And it has taken me decades to weed through all the issues she gave me and to realize that she was projecting her self-hate onto me. Not a nice thing to do, but I realized that it wasn't really about me. I was just an easy target.

It wasn't until I started blogging and found other plus-size bloggers out there that I started to really gain more confidence in myself and accept me. It is still a work in progress, of course. But instances like this, where those women were saying such hateful things about you (projecting their negativity onto you), make me further realize how important it is to hold on to every bit of confidence and be strong in that. In fact, it makes me feel like I just invoked the Power of Greyskull or something and turned into some kind of Big Girl superhero to fight off these ideas of hating fat bodies. It makes me realize how important it is to continue to be a confident, plus-size woman.

Sara said...

I have to admit when I saw the original swimsuit post you did I felt jealous that you had the confidence to pull it off. You looked great! I'm a size 16/18 and terrified of getting in a bathing suit in public for fear of mean folks (like those commenters) saying or thinking bad things about me. Kudos to you and all the other "more to love" ladies (as I like to refer to us plus sizers) who are strong and brave and put yourselves out there every day. You are all fabulous!

Maria Kreps said...

Well I happen to adore your blog, appreciate what you have to offer, and think you are gorgeous! Thank you for being a wonderful example to those of us who aren't perfect.

Jeanie Cloninger said...

I found your blog by googling "Plus size fashion blogs" and was so excited when it came up. I bought a fun, casual dress at Target this week for the first time in over 10 years. The only time I ever buy a dress is for the occasional wedding or funeral. I wore my dress to school today (teacher) and felt so good about myself! I am not thin, I am not in shape, but I felt great. I have you to thank for that because I see how beautiful you look in your photos and I admire your attitude about loving yourself. I definitely don't have the self-hate I used to have and I am on my way to loving myself, flaws and all. Thank you again for sharing your blog.

Jenny Lauren said...

Katie. . . I'm so sorry you had to experience that. You are such an inspiration to so many woman. I (sort of) work in customer service, and have to deal with complaints/opinions from the general public. I quickly realized that the people that were criticizing or complaining must have had really crappy lives in order to be so mean, hurtful or cranky. So now when someone is yelling at me or telling me that a program I ran is terrible, I just smile, nod, and think to myself, "wow, I feel sorry for you that you have such a terrible life that you let something like this affect you." It's the same with personal criticisms or attacks. It almost always stems from a place of insecurity, lack of confidence, jealousy and lack of happiness. I truly feel sorry for those "mean girls" because I know that you and I both have much better and happier lives than them.


xo Jennywww.crazystylelove.com

Sandy Woodcock said...

Great posts, good thoughts, keep up the terrific posts.

Marybeth said...

I thought you looked beautiful in that swimsuit!

Marissa said...

Katie I am so mad about those inconsiderate and rude comments. I'm a size 4 and even I have cellulite, my thighs jiggle, and thanks to having a kiddo my stomach will always have a little pooch..does that mean I shouldn't wear a bathing suit?! HELL NO!!


SO I say screw all those wenches and continue loving yourself because I love how confident you are and how stylish you are and I dare anyone of them to take bathing suit pictures and post it on the world wide web!!

Happinessatmidlife said...

Just found your blog via Wardrobe Oxygen. You are beautiful and It is so sad that some people can be so hateful. When I read even Loft Facebook pages, there's always someone making rude comments about how skinny or why are the models not eating. I think the web has made people forget that these are real women (models or not) and we are all beautiful in our own way.

Audrey @ Putting Me Together said...

Proud of you, Katie!

peitab said...

Congratulations Katie - you've got such a positive message for people. I loved your swimsuit post (and the others!) - the reposting by Kiyonna is what brought me to your blog. Thanks so much!

Knitsewmuch said...

Amen sister!

lovelovefashion said...

it is very sad, it really is that there are those who think it is just fine to insult and undermine bloggers and others - they are a toxic minority - ( as a mother of 3 girls i insist on positive language, i am plus size, my daughters are taught beauty comes in every size, and we also need to focus on the qualities of a person) i think you are a beautiful woman, i loved the swimsuit post and how people were offended makes me think that their lives must be so miserable, bitterness blinds people. anyhoo! thats all the energy i am prepared to give negative people, i adore your style, i think you are straight up fabulous and i need a dotty cardigan now! x sandra

Sheri Fisher Moore said...

Women can be viscious and everyone's ire seems to magnify by scary amounts when they feel safely behind a computer and anonymous. I'm sorry that some nasty people decided to throw all of their self loathing and misery at your lovely head.
Thanks for continuing to stay positive! It's incredibly brave to put yourself out there - the rest of us who are trying to love what we DO have instead of getting bogged down in the nasty self-critical spiral applaud what you are doing!
On a fashion-related note, where did you get that adorable polka-dotted cardigan? =D

Jenna said...

I loved the swimsuit photos. I was horribly jealous.. not because you're simply gorgeous (Which you are) but because of the courage it took to put yourself out there. I wouldn't... Couldn't! I wish I could. I wish I had that sort of backbone and positive self worth. I'm very envious of women that have that. Petty, small minded women without the ability to accept their own imperfections should really pick up a helpful hobby rather than bashing people they're jealous of. Congrats on your confidence, and thanks for showing how beautiful curves can be.

Galena Ostipow said...

Pardon my French, but fuck the haters. I specifically read your blog because I love seeing a woman my size rocking clothes I can actually afford to buy and being a badass beautiful woman. People are dicks online--that's the law of the internet. I'm so glad you didn't let them rain on your parade! Please keep doing what you're doing :)

BethyLB said...

I feel this is a bit off topic, since I have nothing new to add to all the wonderful support you have already received, but... I have that polka dot shirt and a similar red dress, both of which I love and wear often. But I never would have thought of pairing them together. I got very excited about it when I saw your outfit. I'm totally wearing them Sunday.

frocks that rock said...

Bless you girl! Thanks for writing this post too. I was so p!$&ed at some of those comments on Facebook... I just can't understand how some people can be so mean and hateful to others. I'm glad you're a tough cookie and were able to take the (very) few haters in stride. Stay gorgeous, confident, and the generally wonderful person you are... your positive vibes are definitely catching on! :)

Mary Ann said...

Somehow I missed the original bathing suit post, but I think you looked super cute. The red lips and retro styling were perfect! I felt hesitant about posting bathing suit pics, as well, because we are opening ourselves up for online criticism. I'm proud of you for posting the pictures and looking so confident!

Savannah said...




I was SOOOOOOO upset when I started
reading the negative comments. HOW DARE THEY! I thought you looked amazing in
the swimsuit! I love your confidence. Glad you weren’t upset about the negative
comments. We all have our flaws and if they can’t accept their own, they have
no right to bash others for having such confidence to love their body just the
way they are.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much, Michelle! So refreshing to hear that from someone who's not plus sized. You are awesome :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you for coming over, Karen, and for all the sweet comments! Men definitely have it easier ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Right?!? NO one is perfect- it just isn't possible. Fools!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I know- I saw your comment. Thank you, sweetie. I tried to decide if I wanted to say something on the post, but I just decided to take the high road. Besides I had plenty of women tearing it up ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

It's crazy what kind of fools come out of the woodwork, right? Thank you, Mary Ann!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Ah, thank you! It was very unexpected, but I guess it was because it's a plus-size site, and that I personally would never say something negative like that for someone to be able to go back to read!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Yay! I am really working on remixing what I have, and I loved it. I will definitely be wearing it again. You are going to look so cute Sunday!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I like your kind of French! ;) You are so right. The internet makes everyone an expert and usually an asshole. Thank you so much, Galena!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Jenna. The funny thing is I have never been a confident person. My 15-year-old self cannot believe what the 30-year-old version does. I always had low self-esteem. Honestly the blogging has been the best thing for me. Good luck on your journey and believe in yourself!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much, Sherri. I knew it was a risk I would take, but I wanted to do it. Not out of narcissism but to show people! I got the cardigan last year at The Limited, but Old avy has several options right now.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

So glad you are raising your daughters that way. I wish everyone else would do the same. Can you imagine how much better the world could be!? Sandra you are always so sweet and kind! Have a great week!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Hey, I can preach when I need to ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I'm so glad you came over to my blog! Thank you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Audrey :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much for coming over. I am always shocked at how hateful women can be. It's like they don't remember that the women they are criticizing are real and can read and have feelings!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

It totally means you shouldn't wear a bathing suit. Duh! You are so gross ;)


Thank you Marissa! I love you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Marybeth :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Sandy! I am definitely going to try!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Jenny. A year ago I would have never imagined myself in this situation- people saying I;m an inspiration, that I have helped them, it's crazy and amazing. You are right in comparing it to customer service and people just taking their issues out on you! And I agree whole-heartedly, I feel sorry for them!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Jeanie- I cannot tell you how special this comment is to me. Thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear that you felt good about yourself- it's a great feeling, right?!? Continue to love yourself :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Maria. Now I'm blushing!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Well, you are fabulous too! Do not miss out on things because of what other people think or say!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Hailey, thank you for sharing this. I am so thankful that my mother wasn't like that. I still had low self-esteem, but she didn't contribute to the issues. I cannot imagine having to grow up like that, but you have definitely given me a new perspective on what is probably the real issue at hand- being an easy target and projecting self-hate. It was definitely the blogging that increased my own confidence, so I know exactly what you mean! And you are right about holding on to the confidence- I'm just to the point when I think they must need glasses because we are beautiful! And Kiyonna needs to moderate their FBboards. Plus Size Magazine posted a big thing on FB and pretty much said if you don't embrace and appreciate plus size then unlike us! It was great!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Take what you said to me in the second paragraph and apply to yourself in the first paragraph! You have solved your own problem. Do not miss out on life and enjoying yourself because of people who do not matter. Don't limit yourself, Sarah! You can do it :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you! Thank you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Lenore. I'm ready to find a nudist colony because clothes in this heat are not cutting it!!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I mean they went Crazy on Kiyonna's Facebook page. It was insane. I couldn't even be sad because it was so ridiculous. One woman said I needed to put some clothes on, that I looked like I was modeling a slutty club dress. Ummmm, ok.....

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much, Rebecca! I always know you've got my back!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

AShley, I am the same exact way. I was a size six five years ago, but so insecure, low self-esteem, etc. Now I feel so much better about myself. It's so crazy. I am assuming it has to do with maturity and aging wisely, but whatever it is I love it. I say I'm like a fine wine, I keep getting better with age. I tell my husband all the time that I get better looking every year! ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Selah, I always love to hear from you and I loved seeing you on Grown and Curvy! I cannot put into words how special and humbling it is to realize (like you said) that this transcends size and shape, that I am doing something good in this world!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you for saying I encouraged you! I think most people are so concerned with how they look that they don't even notice anyone else. Thank you so much for finding me and commenting!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Oh, Crystal- you must go check it out. It was INSANE!!!!! I'm pretty sure they don't have anything nice to say about anyone. Like I said I couldn't be sad because what they were saying (for the most part) was so off base and stupid. I feel sorry for them, and I pray they don't have daughters!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Seriously, a year ago, I would have cried for a week, and made Kiyonna delete the photos. I swear that blogging has made me stronger and more confident- or maybe turning thirty? I agree- it was amazing to see they women defending me. It made my heart sing!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you Natasha! I am so glad you clicked on her link :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Colleen- I agree with you 100%. Interestingly, the women criticizing were also plus size. I can't imagine doing that, knowing how much hate is already out there for big women. It's so sad. And yes, I'd look WAY different if I was super rich and could afford all those things. But I'd much rather be this size and happy!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you! :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Clearly, you and me were raised correctly. I would never do it either. The internet has made them brave, stupid, and mean. These are grown women. It's so sad! Thank you, Yi-chia! Love you :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Awww, thank you, Sharon. At first I definitely felt sick to my stomach, but then I realized exactly what you said- they are clearly dealing with some major insecurities. Plus I was so buoyed by the positivity and love the other women gave me that it was impossible to dwell on it!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

You clearly understand the purpose and process of constructive criticism! And thank you so much. When I saw those photos, I felt the same way. It was so shocking!


You are correct- the internet, for all it's good, has really changed the way we deal with people. It's so impersonal and easy to be mean! Thank you so much for coming over and commenting!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Amen! I mean we are dealing with enough shit. Can't we just be nice to each other? The fact that there is so little diversity in mainstream media and fashion is one of the main reasons we blog. If I can't get what I want to see somewhere, then I have to do it myself!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thanks for sharing that. It fit perfectly! And thank you for commenting on my reaction- I knew it wouldn't do anybody any good for me to lash out!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Awww, thank you, Stephanie. That means so much to me!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I love you! I felt sorry for her too, but I think they hopefully gave her a taste of her own medicine ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much, Lauren!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

That's why I couldn't be too upset. I guess the few who were unhappy maybe need new glasses ;)
I love you!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much! I thought they were hot too! And I like my butt ;)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you, Annie! That means so much to me :)

Heather said...

Please send me the names and addresses of those hateful women and I will kick their ass. And I mean it. I'm not plus size (sometimes I actually get flack for being "too skinny") and I love you. I love your creativity in your outfits, what you have to say, and that you believe in yourself. And I continue to get inspiration from your blog... Keep that gorgeous head high and know that those of us that love you will support you -- and the haters are sad and insecure people who likely are very jealous you can let your confidence and beauty shine through


XO
www.pearlsandpaws.blogspot.com



Oh and I'll be looking for those names.... ;)

Sarah With A Bow said...

I have been guilty of making rude comments to myself as I see someone walk by, but let me be clear it isn't about body per se--rather, I hate when people try to dress with total disregard for presenting themselves in a good way. That is NOT wearing a mumu if you're over a size 4, but it IS (for everyone, skinniest of skinnies included) not showing vulgar amounts of skin and trying to look presentable.


I have had a small taste of the catty, negative bits of the internet, getting scorned for my style choices and my "lack of understanding of proportion." It sucks. But I'm not posting to look like everyone else, I'm posting the things I really do wear and really do like. I think that swimsuit shoot was fun--you're embracing yourself as you are, rocking it with a retro vibe, and having fun. I think I mentioned this before, but I don't understand why plus-sized = vulgarity. Even more so when that definition of vulgarity is intended in a sexual way.


I've learned that in offering anything on the internet, I must encourage all comments, positive or otherwise, because that's a well-balanced survey of your landscape. Even if they hate what they say--they're readers, they get their moment. And it speaks volumes about YOU that you've approached the entire situation with the poise and confidence that you have.

Casey said...

I am amazed by your confidence and always love what you have to say! And this is a bit beside the point, but I am OBSESSED with the polka dot cardigan you have on in this post! Where did you get it???

Savannah said...

My friend Amy defended you. She was so mad, too!

Jessica said...

You are such a strong, and BEAUTIFUL woman... I read your site because you give so much personality and flair to what you wear, and because you are YOU, and I can feel your authenticity in every post. Keep you head up and lady and let the haters hate (because sadly, they will always be there)... and I say that the best revenge is living well
xx


Here&Now

Bella said...

Katie, I'm coming in from my summer break in Spain and I have so much
blog reading to catch up on! I feel like a kid in a candy shop! That
said, I'm glad I started with this particular post. I say this because
one of the wonderful things about Europeans is that they seem to be less
judgmental and critical of the human body. In Spain, women flaunted
their curves, their gut, their "flabby" arms (myself included) and
didn't give a rat's patootie at who looked or didn't look at them.
Seriously. It was so liberating to take off my cover up and walk among
an army of women who seemed oblivious to what American women deem "body
imperfections." Well, after reading this post I say good for you for
taking this like the gladiator you are. You have not only given us the
true meaning of confidence, but also reminded us that there is no
escaping hate. I believe that women who express themselves negatively of
other sisters are filled with self hatred. After all, it's so much
easier to hate on others. I wonder when the time will come when we will
all be embracing and accepting of others; when it won't be necessary to
tear down others in order to feel better about ourselves. I think this
behavior says plenty about us as a society. How very sad. However, no
worries. I vote we keep putting the word, ourselves, and our flabby arms
out there. Sooner or later people will either have to embrace diversity
or turn the other way when we strut our "thunder thighs" and "out to
here" hips. Either way, it's all good, sister! :)

Marie_McGrath said...

You are definitely an inspiration for me and for many others Katie. I remember that swimsuit post and not only did you look gorgeous (because you did!), but you also looked incredibly confident. I don't think I would have the guts to post photos of myself in a bathing suit even if I had the body of a model (which I dont). Nevertheless, I really appreciate what you are saying about being confident and loving oneself. I believe I've said this before to you, but I used to be a very very insecure person because I was in the modeling industry (pressure to be skinny) and because I had a verbally abusive boyfriend as well. It was a really dark time for me and it was difficult to overcome, but once I managed to see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, I became the cheerful peppy person I am today. All those laughs, jumps, silly faces, and jokes I post on my blog is because I've learned to love myself and that allows me to be happy.

So anyway, enough about me, I just want to thank you for being such an inspiration. Keep up the great work and don't ever let anyone get you down ;)

Elizabeth www.butiwantcake.com said...

I just found the swimsuit post via Blogher's "The Difference Between Online Criticism and Hate". I have to say you are too adorable! I'm so proud of you for putting yourself out there regardless of the people who are so close minded that they can only accept what society tells them. We are NOT all supposed to be a size 1. I'm currently trying to lose about 60 pounds of baby weight and am so nervous about posting my before pictures because of the judgement that I'm scared to recieve. One of the biggest lessons I learned from getting older is that even eating right and working out won't make you a tiny person. AND skinny does NOT mean healthy.


You girl are an INSPIRATION and are sassy and adorable. It's so refreshing to see this kind of confidence. Thank you for that post.

Tori said...

I think you are fantastc! I am not necessarily plus-size (although I work in a plus-size department at work and tend to find cute shirts even if they are a littttle big haha), but I have always been uncomfortable during the summer time. I can remember being twelve and wearing pants in the summer because my skin embarrassed me (I have eczema) and because my thighs were too big. Even at that age. And in the past few years I have come out of my shell a little, wearing shorts and forcing myself to ignore those thoughts of every one else. However, a bathing suit is still something I can't seem to be comefortabl in. But after reading your post and seeing how absolutely gorgeous you look in that bathing suit, I am inspired! Not only by your confidence, but you also made me want to buy that bathing suit. You are absolutely fantastic! I am a new reader to your blog and you have hooked me!

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